So, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the holiday season are quickly approaching. You'll be seeing a lot of tips and tricks to make sure your eCommerce site is ready for it right now. And who are we to deny you yet another list, this time focused on increasing site speed and providing a positive user experience?
They are simple to implement and yield quick results. Remember that even minor improvements in pagespeed can lead to significant increases in conversions during the upcoming busy season. According to studies, a 100ms increase in pagespeed can result in a 7% increase in conversions. Let's dive in!
1. Gather Real User Monitoring (RUM) Data
Before you can effectively optimize your website's pagespeed, you need to understand how your audience experiences your site. RUM data provides invaluable insights into real user interactions, load times, and performance bottlenecks. By collecting this data, you can identify areas that require improvement and prioritize your optimization efforts accordingly. Without RUM data, you'll be navigating in the dark, unaware of what's happening and why. So, take the time to set up RUM monitoring and gather the necessary data to inform your optimization strategy.
Also, do it now. This gives you ample opportunity to find and fix issues before the stress and rush of Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and holiday shopping. For instance, to fix your CLS issues! Or, check your lazyloading strategy! It also gives you the time to check the following wins that you might want to incorporate into your upcoming Black Friday strategy.
2. Incorporate New UTM Parameters into Caching Strategy
Black Friday often involves running extensive advertising campaigns on platforms like Google and Facebook, as well as sending out newsletters with UTM parameters to track campaign performance. To ensure that these campaigns don't negatively impact your pagespeed, it's essential to collaborate closely between your marketing and development teams. Make sure that any new UTM parameters or tracking codes are added to your caching strategy. This will help prevent unnecessary cache misses and ensure that your website loads swiftly for visitors arriving through these campaigns. Especially if you use a CDN, this can be a huge win in terms of performance, that's very easy to accomplish.
3. Temporarily Disable Heatmaps and Monitoring Tools
While tools like heatmaps and New Relic are valuable for gaining insights into user behavior and performance, they can also introduce additional overhead during peak traffic times, like Black Friday. These tools often have a noticeable impact on your website's Interaction to Next Paint (INP), which can slow down the user experience. To optimize your pagespeed during the Black Friday weekend, consider temporarily disabling these tools. You won't miss out on any critical or new information during this short period, and your visitors will appreciate the improved performance. You can start collecting the insights again after the rush.
4. Implement or Verify Back/Forward Caching
Back/forward cache is a browser feature that allows users to navigate between pages they've recently visited without reloading them entirely. Implementing or verifying that your website supports back/forward caching can significantly enhance the user experience. It reduces loading times when users revisit pages, creating a smoother and faster browsing experience. Ensuring that your site leverages this browser feature can be a quick win for pagespeed optimization, as you can spot it within 5 minutes.
In the screenshot above, you can see how many navigations are a back_forward. These are all pageviews that can come from the back_forward_cache (with some nuances). This would mean a TTFB of 0 ms for these navigations.
5. Suspend A/B Testing for Black Friday Weekend
As you gear up for Black Friday, don't underestimate the importance of pagespeed optimization and providing good UX for your customers. These five quick tips can make a significant difference in your ecommerce website's performance, ultimately leading to higher conversions and happier customers. Remember that even small improvements in pagespeed can yield substantial benefits, so take a few minutes to implement these strategies and give your online store the competitive edge it needs during this busy shopping season. Happy selling!
Want to get started with collecting the data of your users's experience, real time Core Web Vitals or simply check whether your team has all these 5 wins implemented?